Diplomatic duels: what now for the Trump-Kim summit?

Trump: Plan for June summit with North Korea 'hasn't changed'

Here's where we stand with what could be a historic meeting.

A few months ago, Kim and Trump were hurling insults and threats of war at each other.

From 2009 to 2016 he was also director of North Korea's General Reconnaissance Bureau, the unit tasked with cyber warfare and intelligence gathering.

When Kim Chang-son was asked by a reporter at Beijing airport if he was flying to Singapore for talks with the United States, he said he was "going there to play", according to footage from Nippon Television Network.

A USA delegation arrived in North Korea on Sunday as preparations for the talks continue.

Trump abruptly pulled the plug last week, only to apparently reverse course 24 hours later. "A lot of people are working on it".

Mr Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and to a planned meeting with Mr Trump, Mr Moon said.

"What Kim is unclear about is that he has concerns about whether his country can surely trust the United States over its promise to end hostile relations (with North Korea) and provide a security guarantee if they do denuclearization", Moon said, reports the Associated Press.

Kim Yong-chol sat just metres away from Trump's daughter Ivanka at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February - one of the first signs of a diplomatic thaw between North Korea and the US and South Korea after tensions over its nuclear weapons reached a breaking point.

The White House said a "pre-advance" team was travelling to Singapore to meet with North Koreans.

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Choe Kang Il, a North Korean foreign ministry official involved with North America issues, was also spotted at Beijing Capital International Airport, according to Yonhap.

He is now Washington's envoy to the Philippines but has been called back to his old stomping ground - Trump has yet to nominate an ambassador to Seoul.

"So we're going to have to be very focused, very engaged", Mr. Coons said. But most observers are confident the process is back on track - for now. And Trump welcomed the "warm and productive" statement, saying the summit could go ahead as planned.

"Let's be realistic. These summits take months not weeks to prepare", he said. We're talking to them now.

- What are the stumbling blocks? Abe reportedly recommended the U.S.to maintain its pressure on North Korea until it reaches agreements over the nation's nuclear and missile programs.

Yonhap said Kim Yong Chol's name was on the passenger list for a flight Wednesday from Beijing to NY.

According to reports based on sources, Washington wants Pyongyang to ship its nuclear warheads, or possibly its intercontinental ballistic missiles, to the United States - most likely to a facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Analysts believe Washington is trying to determine whether North Korea is willing to agree on sufficient steps toward denuclearization to allow a summit to take place.

Those details were supposed to have been worked out two weeks ago, when Hagin traveled to Singapore to arrange details of the talks, but the North Korean delegation never arrived.

"With South Korea and China already talking to the North, it's hard for Trump to reignite his campaign at this point or after the summit fails", said Namkoong Young, who has advised South Korea's Unification Ministry and the Foreign Ministry on policy for nearly 10 years.

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